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U.S. airlines complying with China

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Three major U.S. airlines on Saturday confirmed that pilots were complying with Chinese government demands that it be notified of plans to traverse the newly declared air defense zone over the East China Sea.

The demands from Beijing have resulted in tensions with Japan and the United States.

On Saturday, United, American and Delta airlines told CNN that its pilots were following Washington’s advice and complying with Beijing’s “air defense identification zone.”

A senior official in U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration said Friday that commercial airlines are being told to abide by Beijing’s instruction, even if the U.S. government doesn’t recognize it.

“We … are advising for safety reasons that they comply with notices to airmen, which FAA always advises,” the official said.